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Introduction

President Pro Tempore refers to the senator with the highest rank who is elected by the Senate. The office of President Pro Tempore is mostly held by the senator who has served for the longest time in the ruling party. The President Pro Tempore is the second highest ranked official in the senate after the vice president. In most instances, the President Pro Tempore comprises of the senior senator in the majority party. The position of the President Pro Tempore can be regarded as ceremonial. As a result, the position has limited powers while there may be many responsibilities to be carried out by the holder of this position. Those who serve in the position of President Pro Tempore are treated with a lot of honor. They are also entitled to more remuneration than other senators. When a Senator holds this position, he becomes third in the presidential succession line (Ritchie 170-172). The current President Pro Tempore of the United States is Daniel Inouye who hails from Hawaii and assumed office on 28th June 2010.

Duties and responsibilities of the President Pro Tempore

The president pro Tempore can be compared to the Speaker of House of Representatives, but the holder of this position has fewer powers than the Speaker. The position of the president pro Tempore was introduced in the United States constitution in 1789. During the years before 1890s, the president pro Tempore used to be elected by the Senate when there was an absence of the vice president. However, this has changed since 1890; the President Pro Tempore holds his office until a successor is elected. Article I, Section 3 of the United States constitution outlines the roles, duties, and responsibilities, which should be carried out by the President Pro Tempore. According to the Article 3, Section I, the President Pro Tempore has the primary duty of presiding over the Senate of United States while the vice president is absent (Kura 187-192).

As stated in the United States constitution, the President Pro Tempore has the responsibility to assume the duties of the president of the Senate. This happens when the president of the Senate dies. In such an instance, the constitution states that the President Pro Tempore should take up the duties, emoluments, powers, and responsibilities of the Senate president. This should be until the election of a new president of the Senate during the first extraordinary session to be held by the legislature. The President Pro Tempore has the responsibility to assume the duties of the president of the senate if the president is disabled (Little & David 73-76).

Other duties and responsibilities of the President Pro Tempore include convening and presiding over meetings such as those held by the Board of Directors, as well as meetings of the special Chapter. The President Pro Tempore can also represent the Chapter at conference meetings, as well as other vital functions. The other responsibility of the United States President Pro Tempore includes training the vice president; this is because the Senator elected as President Pro Tempore is of the highest seniority (Ritchie 170-172).

Powers of the President Pro Tempore

Apart from the duties of the President Pro Tempore, there are some powers that come with this position. First, the President Pro Tempore has the powers to exercise his rights as an elected Senator. As such, the President Pro Tempore can address the Senate and articulate any issue without being allowed to do so by the Senate vote. This is unlike the vice president who has to seek the support and the mandate of the Senate whenever he wants to articulate any issue. The president pro Tempore also has powers to appoint members who will serve in the standing committees of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore also has the powers to point out senators who will carry the duties of the chair, especially when he is absent. The President Pro Tempore also has powers to sign legislation when the vice president is absent, as well as administer oaths as required by the Constitution (Loomis 114-118).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the President Pro Tempore is the senator with the highest rank and is elected by the Senate. The primary role of the holder of this position is to preside over the Senate in the absence of the vice president. Since the position of President Pro Tempore is ceremonial, there are limited powers that come with the position. The United States introduced the position of President Pro Tempore in 1789. The duties of the President Pro Tempore are stated in Article 3, Section I of the United States constitution. The powers of the President Pro Tempore include powers to articulate issues without being authorised by the Senate.

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